Do Carp Like Chickpeas?

Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) are the bait we are talking about today. Maybe you heard of the lads at your local fishery catching on them, but are they actually a good carp bait and do they work?

So, do carp like chickpeas? Carp will eat chickpeas but it’s our opinion that there are far better particle baits out there for fishermen to use such as corn and nuts (where allowed).

Other baits such as corn are also far easier to prep as chickpeas will take quite a bit of preparation when compared to most other baits on the market. They have been known to produce very good results.


How Do You Prepare Them?

You can use them straight out of the can, but these ones are generally too soft and won’t stay on as a hook bait very well. They might even be a bit too hard to put on a hair rig.

The best way to use them as fishing bait is to buy the dried versions and prepare them yourself.

Cover them in cold water and let them soak for up to 24 hours. It’s important to remember that they are likely to double in size so make sure your bucket is plenty big enough.

After they have been soaked overnight then the next step is to boil them for 30 minutes and let them cool.

After that, they are good for fishing!

Where Can You Get Dried Chickpeas From?

You probably won’t find these in your local tackle shop. Believe it or not, an Indian food wholesaler is probably one of the best places to get them from. There is one in my town and you can buy massive 25kg sacks from there. Now, this is a bit too much but you do get a lot for your money. Maybe see if a few friends want to split the bag and cost with you?

Why Do They Get Banned?

Fish can’t digest nuts very well and fisheries worry about nuts clogging up fish inside and then the fish pass away. I can understand it from the fishery’s point of view as big fish are very expensive and no fishery wants to lose their prize fish. That’s why it’s important that the chickpeas are soaked, boiled and prepared properly so that they don’t harm the fish.

It’s A Good Cheap Bait

When you compare the price of chickpeas to boilies then there really is no comparison. If you do your carp fishing on a budget then chickpeas are the one for you as they are going to be a fraction of the price of boilies or even pellets. They are a good bait to be added to your particle mix.

What Are Good Additives To Add To Them?

Like a lot of other carp baits, the list of additives you can add to chickpeas is endless. We are going to go over some of the most common ones that we found that carp fishermen like to use.


Add a bit of simple salt to the chickpeas when you soak them. This could be flavoured salt or just plain salt.

Curry Powder

Maybe it’s because, we, as humans, associate chickpeas with curry, but curry powder is an excellent choice to mix in with them. They will soak up the flavour really well.


We have talked about adding garlic to so many carp baits on this site, so it’s no surprise that we added garlic to the list of things you can add to chickpeas.

You could try adding garlic salt when you soak the chickpeas or some garlic fishing oil mixed in.

Food Colouring

We all like to think that carp prefer certain colours over others. Sometimes I think they do, other times I think they don’t. However, I do like to take a variety of different coloured pellets with me so why not add a bit of colour to the chickpeas.

If I had to pick a colour to add, it would be red.

Fish Attractants

There are an endless amount of oils made by carp fishing companies. Pop a few drops of this into them while they are soaking.

Is It Worth Adding Additives To Them?

While doing our research we found that a lot of fishermen just said don’t bother adding anything to them. See if you first get results off plain chickpeas. If that doesn’t work then try adding colours and flavours.

Will Other Fish Eat Them?

Yes, don’t expect just to catch carp on these. Chickpeas are a fairly small bait and will be about the same size as a 10mm boilie. Therefore, you can expect to catch tench, bream, carp and they are a great bait to catch chub when river fishing.

Do They Stay On The Hook?

If out of a can, they can be a bit too soft. Therefore, it’s recommended to prepare your own so that they will stay on the hook a bit better.

You Can Freeze Them

Now, be warned, they can take a while to defrost with them being such a dense bait. My advice would be to take them out of the freezer the night before.

The good news is that chickpeas freeze really well. Bag them up into small freezer bags and then you have a nice size bag to take out each time you go carp fishing.

Final Thoughts

Carp eat most food. If you are on a budget, then chickpeas are a cheap alternative to boilies and it’s a bait that other anglers might not be using.

If it’s a fishery that’s hard to catch, then give them a go as something different than the fish might not be used to.

However, our overall thought is that they are a bit messy and don’t really give you a massive edge over a lot of other carp baits that are out there. There are better particle baits such as maple peas, tiger nuts or sweetcorn.